NEWS: Supreme Court Chief Justice Puno in Tagum City today

sept 5

Welcome CJ to the Palm City!
Justice on Wheels to dispose cases of aged, overstaying inmates of Davnor, Comval

Chief Justice Reynato Puno will arrive in Tagum City today bringing in the Supreme Court’s Justice on Wheels (JoW) mobile court program to Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

The JoW mobile court will hear, mediate and decide cases especially involving those inmates who are above 70 years old and detainees whose cases had dragged for longer periods than prescribed by law or those who have finished serving their sentence or were overstaying.

Puno re-launched the “Justice on Wheels” program last July to increase the access to justice by the poor, declog courts of unnecessary and unimportant cases and decongest jails nationwide.
Chief Justice Puno will bring along with him the especially-designed Justice on Wheels bus which has two court chambers inside it where hearings will be made, and in matter of hours, these would lead for the release of inmates.

In a phone interview with Sidlak yesterday, Atty. Gilbert Torrijos, Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court in Tagum Atty. informed that aside from the two hearings inside the JoW vehicle, which will park inside the compound of the Davao del Norte Provincial Rehabilitation Center,  two other hearings will be made in designated rooms inside the provincial jails of the two provinces.

The provincial jails of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley are all located at Mankilam, Tagum City.

Atty. Torrijos also said that other hearings for JoW will simultaneously occur at the Hall of Justice in the Capitol complex at Mankilam.

He informed that Chief Justice Puno in the morning will be the keynote speaker of a forum with the indigenous people, farmers and firsherfolks to be held at the Bulwagan ng Panlalawigan.

Aside from hearing cases, JOW mobile court activities also include jail inspection and medical checkup for detainees.

Chief Justice Puno has been personally spearheading in the deployment of mobile court room nationwide to look at the plight of the inmates and fast track their cases.

Reports said that so far it led to the releasing of at least 60 inmates in the places they have visited.

The JOW has already visited city jails in Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City, Kalibo, Aklan, Cebu and will have the provinces of Davao del Sur and Sarangani as the next stops in this current Southern Mindanao sortie, reports added.

Thus, all roads will lead today to Mankilam for the 16 judges in the two provinces as well as for lawyers in the cases selected for JoW hearings.

At present, Davao del Norte has a total of 9 courts which are the 4 Regional Trial Courts (RTC) and 1 Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) in Tagum City, 2 RTCs and 1 MTCC in Panabo City, and 1 Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) in Carmen town.

Compostela Valley, on the other hand, has 1 RTC and 1 MCTC in Nabunturan capital town, 1 MCTC each for Mabini, Monkayo and Compostela, and 1 each for Laac and Maco.

Recently, the Supreme Court reported that court-annexed mediations like the JoW program had settled at least 28,563 or 70 percent of the total 40,729 cases that underwent mediation in the last six years that declogged courts.

Wikipedia reported that JoW, borrowed from Guatemala justice system, was first launched in the Philippines on 2004 with World Bank and Asian Development Bank funds. 4 buses were converted into mobile courtrooms, to have served Manila and other regions. The Manila City Jail was built for only 1,000 inmates but is now crammed with 4,602.(Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News) http://ruralurbanews.blogspot.com

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